Container Gardening: Everything you need to Know

Al Ardh Alkhadra > Blog > Gardening > Container Gardening: Everything you need to Know

container gardening

Yes! Pots, tubs, and half barrels overflowing with flowers will add a zing to your garden, however, container gardening will serve a practical purpose.

Container gardening is ideal if you have little or no garden space.

In addition to growing flowers, however, if you have a balcony, a small yard, or only a patch of sun on the driveway you can have a number of vegetable crops in containers.

Moreover, basil, chives, thyme, and other herbs grow quite well in the pots.

You can set thein in a convenient spot right outside your kitchen door.

Also, container gardening also adds versatility to gardens both large and small.

Plants lend instant color, provide a focal point in your area, or tie in the architecture of your house to the garden.

You can place them on the ground or on a pedestal, mount them on a windowsill, or hang them on the porch.

Keep on reading to learn.

Container Gardening

A pair of matching containers on either side of the front walk serves as a welcoming decoration while container gardening on a deck or a patio will add color and ambiance to sitting areas.

However, you can use single, large containers for outdoor decorations.

Moreover, also make sure to consider arranging groups of pts, both small and large on stairways, terraces, and anywhere in your garden.

Clusters of pots can contain a collection of your favorite plants, hens and chicks, or herbs.

You can use them as either ornamental or for cooking.


For instance, you can have annuals, dwarf evergreens, perennials, or any other plants you wish to try.

Also, you can have houseplants that simmer outdoors in the shade will also make a great addition to container gardening.

Window boxes and hanging baskets offer even more creative ways to add instant color and appeal.

You can either have containers with single species, like rosemary, or bold variegated ornamental grass.

On the other hand, you can also have a mix of plants to create and offer almost unlimited possibilities of combinations.

The best combination, however, depends on the plants with stunning foliage and flowers that bloom all year round.

Choosing the Right Container

Use the following tips to select the right container for your container gardening:

It is possible to plant directly into any container as long as you are able to create drainage holes.

You can either drill through the wood, plastic, or fiberglass and it is relatively easy.

Moreover, you can also make a drain hole in a clay pot with the help of an electric drill with a masonry bit, however, make sure to work carefully.

In case you want to invest in a large container, make sure to buy the best ones you can afford as they will stay around for some time.

For the same reason, go for classic shapes and styles that fit in with any garden.

container gardening 2

Bright colored pots, however, can restrict your planting choices, and you may find yourself tired of a one-off fashion statement.

When choosing a container, you can use materials and architectural details of your house as a starting point as well.

You can make warm brick walls with terracotta pots or a white colonial-style frontage with classic lead or faux-lead finish planters.

While for rustic timber houses, you can out beet copper tubs or weathered wooden troughs.

It is important to note that a tall, narrow pot is not more stable than a squat, low one.

Make sure to use tall pots if you are choosing trailing plants, which are only top-heavy, and let them cascade over.

Shallow containers, like alpine pans, will best be at the front of a group to anchor it.

Avoid planting your plants in narrow-neck pots as it is difficult to get the plant out once its roots spread.

That is why many flowerpots are always wider at the top than the bottom.

Avoid worrying about decorating pots for every plant.

Keep most of your containers in regular black plastic pots.

Furthermore, if you keep the decorative pots in the front on display, black plastic ones will just recede into the background.

Choosing Plants for Container Gardening

While choosing plants for container gardening, follow the tips below:


The key to successful container planting is to make sure that all of your plants will need similar shun or shade conditions as well as water requirements.

Flowers vs. Foliage

Avoid relying only on flowers.

Long-lasting container combos tend to partner plants with extended bloom time often annuals that add attractive foliage colors, shapes, and textures.

However, if one plant goes into a slump, the other one will pick up the slack.

Make sure to keep it simple by limiting your selection to three types of plants.

Thriller, Filler, Spiller

Make sure to avoid choosing plants that are all same height, shape, or texture.

You can have plants in a combination that one is tall and upright, i.e. thriller, another one is medium-high and mounding, i.e. filler, and the last one is low and spreading, i.e. spiller.


This will soften the edges of the container.

Other than giving you an aesthetic contrast, this arrangement will help avoid competition for light and space.


By combining colors harmoniously, it becomes a subjective enterprise.

In practice, however, you may limit the palette to what is available at the local garden center.

However, a few guiding principles for spinning the flower color wheel are:

  • pink, blues, and purples that are always compatible
  • hot yellows and oranges that work well with red verging on purple or brown
  • white and silver will go with everything, as will pale yellow and versatile chartreuse.

Make up your Mind

It is easy to add and subtract plants in the midseason.

With the help of a long knife, cut a circle around the root mass of the plant you want to remove, pull out the cylinder of roots, and potting mix, and plug in your newfound plant.

In a week or so, the replacement will look as if it had been in there from the very beginning.

Planting your Container

Keep in mind the following for plantation:

Planting Mix: You may start with a commercial, peat-based, soil-less mix.

This holds a lot more water than garden soil and adds in a low-release fertilizer.

While filling the pot, make sure to leave room for water, an inch between the soil surface and the rim of the pot.

Placement of the Plant: If the container is going to stand against the wall or fence, you can add tall plants in the back where they will not block the light and air for shorter plants.


However, if the container is to be placed out in the open, place the tallest plants in the center.

Top Dressing: In case you do not like the look of bare soil, top dressing your plant stems with gravel, crushed shells, attractive pebbles, or some other quick-draining layer will help.

Moreover, this will give a more ‘finished’ look and helps to retain moisture.

Care and Maintenance for Container Gardening

Care and maintenance for container garden consist of:


It is important to remember that annuals and other plants will need more water in containers than in flower beds.

The soil in containers tends to dry out much faster due to lower soil volume and less insulation.

This allows the soil to heat up and moisture to evaporate quickly.

For this, a soil meter can help you to keep a close eye on the moisture level of the soil.

Moreover, you can use a watering can with a large spout or watering want to deliver water straight to the pot and avoid wetting the foliage.

Plants thrive consistently, especially when it comes to watering them.

Setting up containers on an automatic drip water system can also help to make sure your plants are getting water on a regular schedule.

container gardening 1


When you water plants, nutrients can get washed out from the potting mix that your plants need.

Plants do best with a steady supply of a small amount of fertilizer.

Therefore, supplementing your plants weekly is a much better option than once a monthly schedule that produces feast, then famine.


Regular snip-off on flower stalks and errant branches will help to keep your containers look clean and healthy.

Container Gardening Design and Display

To display your containers in your garden perfectly, follow the tips below:

As a general rule keep small pots close to your house in a place where to have a chance to stop and admire the small plants.

While larger plants can work well anywhere.

Use small pots, about less than 12 inches in diameter, to create changing displays of small plants like bulbs, herbs, sempervivum, and alpines.

Moreover, single pots will allow you to mix and match your display easily, according to what is in bloom.

Different levels are a key to good group display.

You can buy an inexpensive stand from the florist to lift pots closer to the eye level and create a composition of varying colors, textures, and shapes.

Or, you can turn empty pots on end and use them as stands or hide bricks or wooden blocks behind other pots.

Furthermore, with a lot of interior designers, the repetition trick is pretty popular.

It works well in a garden setting as well. You can add an identical plant in identical pots and use them evenly spaced to emphasize a liner feature.

Think of a large container as a design feature that can help reinforce the structure of the garden.

Use a pair of clipped boxwood or bay to flank a doorway or entrance, delineate a sitting area with a wall of laurel, and place pots of lavender on wide steps.

Make sure to use containers as a low-key or direct visitor around the garden.

Or you can use terra-cotta saucers under pots to prevent staining floor surfaces.

Large saucers can be features with an attractive layer of pebbles. This way, the water will not cause root rot and help raise the humidity levels around your plants.


As containers are focal points in your garden, you will need to give them special attention to keep them looking their best.

Make sure to remove tattered leaves and deadhead spent flowers. Prune back plants that may look leggy or stop blooming. However, make sure to keep an eye out for pests like aphids, and mites.

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